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KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The sun shined brightly on Denny Hamlin at Kansas Speedway. At the most opportune of times, too.
Tennis: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga qualified for the semifinals in the ATP World Tour Finals at the expense of Rafael Nadal, beating the second-ranked Spaniard 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-3 on Thursday in a decisive round-robin match in London. Tsonga improved to 2-1 in group play while Nadal fell to 1-2, meaning the sixth-seeded Frenchman will join Roger Federer in the last four from Group B.
Tony Stewart hadn’t won a race all season and didn’t list himself as a championship contender when asked to handicap the field before NASCAR’s 10-race playoffs got going. Now, his third championship is there for the taking.
Jimmie Johnson didn’t qualify where he wanted, and his car never quite cooperated during the final practice session at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. So he spent Saturday evening in the garage area, going over different setups with the rest of his team. That dedication, that attention to detail, is a big reason he’s chasing his sixth straight Cup title.
Tony Stewart seemed to be on a date with destiny in both of his wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where there was an overwhelming sense in 2005 and 2007 that nothing could get in his way in the race to Victory Lane. Even though he seemed to be a lock both of those years, Stewart never allowed himself to think the race was his for the taking. He’d suffered too many heartaches at the Brickyard to assume anything was a given.
The turnaround for Kurt Busch continued Sunday at Sonoma, Calif., with a dominating run at Infineon Raceway that led to his first career road course victory. Busch led a race-high 75 laps and beat Jeff Gordon by almost 4 seconds for his first victory of the season. It’s a marked turn for Busch, who unraveled over his team radio at Richmond last month because of how poorly his Dodge had been running.
Jimmie Johnson won a Talladega two-step Sunday, edging Clint Bowyer by about a foot with a big push from Dale Earnhardt Jr. The official margin was 0.002 seconds, tied for the closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup history.
Kevin Harvick isn’t one of those drivers who jumps out front and stays there all the way to the checkers. He’s more of a lingerer and closer, someone who’s able to stay close to the front then make his move at just the right time.
Today's photos feature penguins, a human zoo exhibit, and an auto race for the super-rich. In South Africa a group of penguins are seen being released from an oil pollution treatment center. In Britain a zoo has a display that features a human that is intended to show visitors the effect humans have on the world around them. And in Monaco Formula-one drivers and crews prepare for Sunday's race while fans relax on their balconies.